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14 Illinois counties at warning level for COVID-19

IDPH reported Friday that 14 counties in the state are considered to be at ‘warning level’ for COVID-19.
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Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 1:23 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KWQC) - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported Friday that 14 counties in the state are considered to be at ‘warning level’ for COVID-19.

Health officials said a county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of the disease increase.

The 14 counties reportedly at warning level include Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Jefferson, Kane, LaSalle, Moultrie, Perry, Union and Will counties.

IDPH said the 14 counties saw cases or outbreaks associated with weddings, businesses, birthday parties, long-term care facilities or other congregate settings. They also reported outbreaks from bars, sports camps and spread among members in the same household.

IDPH said, “Public health officials are seeing people in some communities are not wearing masks, or if they are, they are being worn incorrectly.  Local health departments are finding it challenging to obtain the information necessary to halt local transmission, by quickly identifying exposures from contacts of cases and businesses.”

According to IDPH, inconsistent messaging from local and elected leaders are contributing to ongoing transmission in some communities where there is “little public concern for consequences or enforcement of social distancing, banning large gatherings, or quarantine/isolation orders.”

IDPH said several counties are taking swift action and implementing mitigation measures to help slow the spread of the virus.

IDPH said numerous indicators are used to determine if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity, or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county:

The indicators being used include:

  • New cases per 100,000 people: IDPH said if there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people, it triggers a warning.
  • Number of deaths: If the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20 percent for two consecutive weeks, it triggers a warning.
  • Weekly test positivity: If the seven-day positivity rate rises above eight percent, this triggers a warning.
  • ICU availability: If there are fewer than 20 percent of intensive care units available in the area, it triggers a warning.
  • Weekly emergency department visits: If the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20 percent for two weeks, it triggers a warning.
  • Weekly hospital admissions: If hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increase by more than 20 percent for two consecutive weeks, it triggers a warning.
  • Tests perform: This metric is used to provide context and indicate whether more testing is needed in a county.
  • Clusters: This looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to interpret large increase in cases.

Illinois DPH said the metric are used to help local-level awareness to help local leaders, businesses, health departments, and the public make informed decisions about personal and family gatherings, along with what activities they choose to do.

IDPH updates the metrics weekly, from Sunday through Saturday of the prior week.

You can find the map and information of each county’s status on the IDPH website by clicking here.

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